APPROVAL / PASTORAL APPROVAL
1. Is it in the Bible?
2. What do we believe it means?
If you would like to do anything in the church you must first ask the pastor.
3. What does it really mean?
This is one of those "common sense" things that are in the church, since we have the wrong operational plan. Of course it makes common sense that, if we are meeting in a large group, and we have a repetitive, "must do" ritual. And if, this meeting is "under the authority of" a pastor (or whatever one might call the person), then certainly it is polite and appropriate to ask permission to interupt this format. It certainly is only polite to ask the leader if we might do something different, or participate in the "service".
The thing we just don't seem to understand is that the format is all wrong in the first place! The wrong format gives us wrong defintions of "ministry", and so we come to an idea like this, which is actually orginated in politeness and courtesy.
Since the church no longer meets with the attitudes and functions and defintions of the Bible church, we have these false ideas incorporated into our meetings, and ultimately an idea like this limits ministry and therefore limits all that God can accomplish through us.
The church in the Bible (which was simply imitating Jesus!) met in small groups, usually in their homes. In these meetings, everyone could minister, as the Lord directed. Of course, there was common courtesty. In fact the Bible calls for this in 1 Corinthians chapter 14, which tells us to do our ministering one at a time, so that everyone can "benefit" (that is everyone can receive what God has for them through others, and everyone can minister what God directs toward others).
Unfortunately, since we have the wrong tradition of meetings, and wrong definition of "ministry" (authority ove rothers), we have a result and belief that in order to serve God, someone must ask permission, or have "approval" from someone who is already an "official" minister.
If only we would read the new testament Bible and study what it says about ministry! We would find that we have all, already been approved--BY GOD!!